Face-to-face job interviews are on hold because of COVID-19. Video interviews are no longer used exclusively to conduct the initial screening of candidates. Video is now the primary means to interview applicants throughout the entire interview process.
This has been a transition for companies who didn’t use or seldom-used virtual interviews as part of their hiring process in the past. You have to not only get the right hardware and software, you have to learn how it works and understand its nuances. You also have to get comfortable on camera and adapt your job interview process for this new format.
There is also the question of how switching to video interviews changes your approach to recruiting. Do you ask different questions? Who conducts the interview? Are there new things to pay attention to during the interview? Try the tips below to conduct more effective virtual job interviews.
choose the right technology
Even if you already use video conferencing technology in your business, using it for job interviews can be a little different. There are many top-quality options to consider. Some of the most popular include:
- Google Hangouts
- Microsoft Teams
Test them out to ensure they meet your needs. Consider cost, functionality, features, and other ways you could use these tools in your business. If you need help selecting the best option, download our guide on choosing the best video software for your business.
choose an appropriate space
Many companies may use the same space used for in-person meetings. If you’re working remotely, you’ll need to create an interview space. Choose a quiet and well-lit place where there are minimal distractions. Make sure you have a plain backdrop. Remember, you’re representing your organization. It should go without saying, but a messy kitchen complete with dirty dishes, or taking the call from your bed are not appropriate.
have a defined job interview process
Your video interview process will probably be very similar to your in-person interview process. If you’ve had success hiring in the past, there is no need for major changes. You just need a consistent video interview process to ensure you are assessing candidates effectively and that you can easily compare candidates to make the best hiring decisions. Make tweaks based on the changes a virtual environment presents. If you have a rubric or some means of comparing or assessing candidates, you can continue to use it.
always test before going live
Technology can act up and be unpredictable, so it’s always important to log onto the video software and check that it’s working properly before you start a live interview with the candidate. Sound and video feed issues or connection issues can disrupt the flow and momentum of the interview. Also, don’t wait until the last second to test out your software. Give yourself plenty of time, and make sure you’re prompt for the interview. Being late and leaving a candidate sitting in the video call alone is bad form and disrespectful of their time.
provide candidates with a video interview checklist
Like many companies, candidates are also adjusting to the video job interview experience. Many candidates have never used video conferencing software. This creates an additional source of stress and worry related to the interview. Not only do they have to worry about preparing for the interview, they also have to worry about learning how to do it using video.
You can put a candidate’s mind at ease, help them out and offer a better candidate experience by providing them with an interview checklist. Be very clear about the steps they will need to take and make it clear that you’re available if they need support. To set them at ease, you can provide:
- Instructions for downloading and logging into the video interview
- A list of tech requirements for the software to work well
- Video job interview tips to help them get comfortable
- Notes on the interview process itself, who will attend, timelines, and other important information
take a professional approach
How you look, dress, and communicate with candidates over video should not change. Prepare for your video interview the same way you would an in-person interview. Make sure to turn off your phone, computer notifications, and any other distractions. If your phone is constantly beeping with alerts or ringing it’s not fair to the candidate. Also, make sure you smile and look into the camera to make eye contact with the candidate.
If you’d normally dress up a little for interviews, do the same for a video interview. Though you’re working from home, showing up to a video interview in your sweats is probably not the impression you want to leave. Remember the candidate is interviewing you and assessing your company, too. Though you may make the decision to extend an offer, they can choose to accept or reject your offer depending on if they like what they see!
Even though they are different, virtual job interviews are still an effective tool to assess candidates. It may take some time to get used to it, but the more you do it, the more seamlessly it will become part of your recruiting process.